Wednesday, June 19, 2024

How Often Should You Trim Cat Nails

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My Cat Wont Let Me Trim Nails What Should I Do

How to trim a cat’s nails

Since many cats do not like getting their nails cut, or are not used to the process, it may not be easy to cut your cats nails yourself. Your cat might try to squirm away from you, or worse bite or scratch. If youve already tried the steps above with a lot of patience, love and care, and its still not working, seek professional assistance. You could ask your vet to trim your cats nails, or look for a cat nail trimming service near you.

Remember, youre not the only one in fact, its quite the accomplishment being able to trim a cats nails!

How Should I Trim My Cat’s Nails

When trimming your cat’s nails, it is important that you have the right tools. This will help make your job easier and your cat’s experience getting their nails trimmed more pleasant. Dr. Ireifej said nail clippers made specifically for cats are a good option. “Alternatively, files made for felines can also be purchased and utilized,” he said. “Styptic pointers or powder should also be on hand in case the nail is cut too short and bleeding occurs.” If you do not have either readily available, Dr. Ireifej said household flour can be used to help aid in coagulation and hemostasis.

It is also important to remember to create a calming environment for your cat while you do this, as some cats may not enjoy the process. “Do not punish your cat or raise your voice if your cat is becoming upset,” said Michelle Burch, DVM at Safe Hounds Pet Insurance. “If you cannot trim all of the nails at one time, then stop and allow your cat to calm down.” Giving your cat treats in between trimming each nail may also help quell their nerves and might even help them associate nail trimmings with positive feelings.

Never Cut To The Quick

If you look at your cats claws, youll see a darker section inside the mostly clear, hard exterior. This is called the quick. Its where nerves and blood vessels are found. Never cut to the quick, or your cat may bleed and become uncomfortable. If youve ever broken a nail, you know why cats dont like it. Instead, only trim the white part of the claw.

Its always better to leave more claw than to cut too deep. You may want to have a styptic stick or powder on hand. You can use it to stop the bleeding if you accidentally cut too deep. You can find these products at most pet supply stores.

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How Often Should You Trim Your Cat’s Claws

To keep your cat’s claws from becoming too sharp, you should trim his or her claws about every two weeks. This is just a general guideline. You’ll have to use your own judgment about when to take care of your kitty’s grooming needs based on his or her individual needs .

How often you trim will also depend, in part, on how short you cut the claws.

Until you get the hang of trimming your cat’s nails, you may want to only cut off the very tip of the nails.

Depending on your cat’s temperament and how accustomed to claw-trimming she is, she may only allow you to clip a couple of nails at a time.

Some older cats have had bad experiences with nail clipping in the past and may not adjust very well. Don’t force your kitty if she’s having a particularly rough time of it.

Remember to give treats and talk soothingly.

How Often Should I Clip My Cats Claws


If you leave your cats claws to grow long they can damage furniture, carpets and scratch their owners unintentionally. It can also cause your animal discomfort, whilst they may get caught and damaged more easily. The frequency with which you trim their nails depends on their lifestyle. If they are an outdoor cat they will naturally scratch their fingers more often so you wont need to do it too much. Indoor cats should be checked every two weeks and trimmed if their nails look uncomfortably long.

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Accustom The Cat To This Procedure

Some cat owners say that they find it impossible to cut their pet’s claws because it doesn’t like it. This is because the process hasn’t become a habit that it has been used to since it was a kitten, so after some time the animal will resist.

The first three months of a cat’s life are considered to be their socialization stage, so everything you teach them during those months can be learned easily. It is during this period that it is ideal to incorporate the habit of cutting claws, because if you do it after then, it is very likely that the animal will resist.

How To Trim The Nails

The first step is to get some treats, make the whole experience positive and dont feel like you need to be a hero and trim all the nails at once. Start with one, reward and come back later if you or your pet is nervous. In cats, simply trim the hook off the end. Dont try to cut them extremely short, just cut the tip off. The quick is the pink area within the nail where the nerves and blood vessels are, similar to the area underneath our nails. This is the area you want to avoid when trimming nails.

Cats have retractable claws, so to get the nail out, simply push on the top of the foot so that the nails come out of their little sleeves. This allows you to fully visualise the nail and avoid the skin around the nail. If your cat is a bit of a fidget, wrap him in a towel or enlist the help of a friend to hold him. Try not to pull your cats foot into uncomfortable positions while trimming those nails and ideally stop before he gets too cranky with the process. Even if you just do one nail a day while he is relaxed and sitting with you on your lap, it will still be better than fighting with him and having him run for the hills as soon as he sees you with those nail clippers!

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How To Get Your Cat Used To Nail Trims

Its never too early to start trimming cat nails or getting your cat accustomed to having their paws touched.

It might actually be a little late if you have an older cat who has never had their nails trimmed and will never understand why you want to start now.

  • Begin by touching the cats feet. Do this well before you reach for the nail clippers.
  • Massage your cats feet, but dont get into any kind of rough play. We dont want to promote the idea of your cat clawing at you or trying to grab your hand with their claws. If they think this is play time, wait until theyre tired or resting to see if theyll let you casually pick up a paw and rub it.
  • See if you can gently press on a toe to make the nail protrude. Cats have retractable claws. There is a skill involved in gently pressing on the digit to expose the toe. More on this technique later.
  • How To Trim Your Cats Claws

    How to Safely Trim a Cat’s Nails | Vet Tutorial

    Long before you begin to trim your cats claws, you can frequently stroke her paws so she gets used to having them touched.

    When you are ready to trim her nails, having another person help can be useful, but it’s not necessary.

    If you have two people, one person can hold your kitty while the other trims the claws. If it seems impossible to clip your kitty’s nails on your own, and someone else is not available to help, you can also try wrapping your kitty in a towel “like a burrito” to restrain her during this grooming procedure.

    Trim Your Cat’s Nails

    When trimming your cat’s claws, hold her firmly, but not too tightly. Take a paw in your hand and press on the joint right above the claw to make the claw stick out. Using a nail clipper made especially for trimming cat’s claws, snip off the tip of your cat’s nail. Be careful not to clip too closely to the quick.

    It’s best to do the clipping in a well-lit area so you can see the pink quick through the nail. If you have any doubts about how far to clip, be conservative and just cut off the very tips of the nails.

    Be sure to talk soothingly to your kitty while you’re clipping his or her nails and give a reward of a treat and/or some play-time afterwards. This will help your cat associate having his claws trimmed with a positive experience .

    If your cat is too restless to let you trim all of his claws, let him go and try again later or the next day.

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    Tools To Clip Your Cat’s Claws

    In addition to a firm hand, you’ll need a clipper especially made to trim cat’s claws. Special clippers are designed to cut your cat’s claws at the correct angle to prevent splitting your cat’s nails and causing them to bleed.

    There are essentially two types of clippers. One type is a nail clipper similar to a pair of scissors and the other is a mini guillotine-type.

    With the mini guillotine-type nail trimmer, you put your cat’s claw into the opening and then squeeze the handle of the clippers. This is the type of clippers I used to prefer because it seemed to help hold the nail in place more securely. Unfortunately, my pair broke and I haven’t been able to find another pair with good reviews.

    Whatever type of nail clipper you choose, be sure that the blades are sharp. Dull blades can split your cat’s claws and cause pain and bleeding.

    Clippers made from surgical steel are more expensive, but they last longer and stay sharper longer.

    Trimming A Cats Nails By Yourself

  • 1Wait for the right opportunity. You can’t trim your cats nails whenever you feel like it. You should pick a time when your cat is feeling nice and relaxed, such as when it’s just coming out of a nap, getting ready to nap, or calmly resting on its favorite surface during the day.XResearch source
  • Another good time for nail trimming is after your cat has eaten and is feeling sleepy and content.
  • Don’t try to trim your cat’s nails right after play time, when its hungry, when it’s restless and running around, or in an otherwise aggressive mood. The cat will be far from receptive to you trimming its nails.
  • You may see that your cat has a broken or splitting nail and will want to cut it instantly, but dont. Make a note of it and wait for your cat to get relaxed before trying to cut it, or you could make it worse.
  • 2Use the right tools. Before sitting down to cut your cats nails, be sure you have the right equipment to do so. To trim your cat’s nails, youll need a pair of nail clippers designed to clip cat claws and a styptic pencil.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsLeading organization dedicated to the prevention of animal crueltyGo to source
  • Scissor clippers cut a cats nails using a scissor motion and usually come in small and large sizes. The small nippers tend to be better for those new to clipping nails or if you just need to snip the tips. Larger scissor clippers are suited to cutting older, tougher nails.
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    How Often Should You Trim Your Cats Nails

    This is a tricky question. It depends on your cat. If you own a kitten, youll want to get it used to the process. So, youll need to do the trimming frequently once weekly, for example.

    If you own an old cat, youll want to do it regularly, so the extended nails dont hurt her. However, older cats grow nails slower than kittens. Therefore, once every two weeks will suffice.

    If you own an outdoor cat, youll need to let her keep her nails for a while. Theyll help her climb trees and fight off wild cats.

    What Is Declawing

    Why You Need to Trim Your Cat

    In the old days, the solution to the havoc that cats nails wrought upon people and property was declawing them. But in todays modern era, most cat owners view this as an absolute last resort.

    Declawing is not the solution for cat nail problems. Instead, regular trimming should be done. It is also very much encouraged to provide the cat with appropriate scratching posts. Declawing should be reserved only for those rare cases in which a cat has a medical problem that would warrant such surgery, such as the need to remove cancerous nail bed tumors.

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    What Is A Claw

    The cats claw is made up of two parts: the keratinized part formed by a superposition of horny layers, and nail pulp in the center, which contains the nerves and the blood vessels. The cat has 4 toes on each his/her hind legs and 5 toes on the front ones. This fifth toe is called a dewclaw, corresponding to our thumb. These dewclaws allow the cat to climb.

    Cat claws are retractable, that means they are viewable only when they are extended thanks to the flexor tendons. Hence, they usually dont touch the ground and dont naturally wear out as they do for dogs. It is therefore necessary for them to sharpen their claws to maintain them.

    When Is It Time For A Cat Nail Trim

    Youll know its time for a kitty nail trim when the claws are long, curved, and razor-sharp. The time between trimmings varies depending on a cats activity level and scratching habits. For the most part, cats require nail cutting about every 2-3 weeks. Mature cats usually need more frequent nail clippings than kittens.

    Make sure you provide a scratching post to support your cats instinctive urge to claw and to keep those nails trimmed between clipping sessions. Youll also shift the attention away from your furniture.

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    One: Get Everybody Comfy

    Some cats will settle right into your lap for the trim. Others may need convincing and can be bribed with love and treats. Then, there are those cats one might call difficult. And just how do you trim a cats nails when they dont want you to? Very carefully!

    Seriously, if your cat is difficult during nail trims, consider wrapping them in a towel or blanket to keep them gently restrained. Youll only need one paw out of the wrapping at a time. This type of restraint can also help kitty feel calmer.

    You can even enlist the help of a second person when trimming your cats nailsone person to hold while the other clips.

    Tips To Help With Clipping Your Cats Nails

    How to Trim Your Cat’s Claws
    • Dont introduce clippers for the first time at trimming time. Leave them in places your cat can see and investigate them. Remove the mystery and make a happy fuss about them. This way, your kitty learns the clippers arent an instrument brought out for their torture!
    • Encourage your cat to embrace the handling of their paws with frequent paw massages. If cats are used to having their feet touched regularly, it will help the clipping cause for both you and them.
    • Choose a quiet space away from other animals for your cat nail salon. Make sure your spot offers plenty of light. Those claws are small for the seeing!
    • Try different positions if your cat is squirmy during their pedicure. Maybe kitty will like the process better laying on his side rather than being restrained in your arms.
    • Try clicker training to reinforce positive association when it comes to cutting a cats nails.
    • Start young. The earlier a cat experiences nail clipping, the easier of a time youll have as they age.
    • Trimming time should coincide with a calmer period in your cats day. Choose a time when your cat is usually relaxed rather than a high energy playtime. To be sure your cat feels calm for his trim, you could first engage him in a good play session.
    • Treats are a must!
    • Catnip makes everything better!

    Though delicate work, trimming cat nails is one of those simple but necessary tasks that will keep you and your kitty living the good life together!

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    How To Restrain Your Cat For Nail Trimmings

    Some cats require very little restraint, but here are some tips for the fearful, fretful or ferocious feline.

    Little or No Restraint

    If you have a fairly willing cat, they may find comfort lying in your lap.

    Gently rest or drape your forearm over the cats neck and hindquarters and try to pick up a foot, usually with your left hand and clippers in the right hand.

    You might want to have a thick towel or pillow on your lap between you and the cat in case your cat decides to use your thighs as a springboard to leap off your lap.

    Lets say this doesnt go so well: My suggestion is to wait and try again at another time when your cat is calm and is not aware of what youre up to.

    The Towel Method

    Some cats are not necessarily nasty but are just jumpy and wriggly.

    • First, wrap them in a bath towel.
    • Then try to take out a paw for nail trimming.

    With some practice, the towel can help envelop 3 limbs while you take out 1 limb at a time.

    The 2-Person Method

    If you have ever watched your vet and a vet tech trim your cats nails, 2 people can often make this task go quite smoothly.

    A table or countertop works well. One person holds or even restrains with a back-of-the-neck grip while the other person trims the nails.

    This is not for every couple or roommate team nor is it for every cat. You can get hurt if you arent comfortable with your partner or with restraint.

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